Blink residential unit. Source: Ecotality. Click to enlarge.

With the market increasingly focusing on infrastructure to support the anticipated surge of plug-in vehicles produced and planned, electric vehicle supply equipment (charging stations)—including a new inductive charging system—appeared prominently on the exhibit floor at the Plug-in 2010 conference and exhibition this week in San Jose, CA, along with associated announcements. Among those exhibiting were:

Aerovironment. Earlier this year, Nissan Nissan North America (NNA) selected AeroVironment to supply electric vehicle home-charging stations and installation services supporting the introduction of the LEAF.


Aerovironment’s home charging dock. Click to enlarge.

In June, Plug In Carolina selected AeroVironment to supply, install and support a network of public electric vehicle stations in seven South Carolina cities. The charging network is expected to be operational by 1 December 2010 to support the variety of new EVs entering the roadways.

The company offers a broad range of Level 1, 2 and 3 charging solutions.

Better Place. Better Place, perhaps better known for its battery swap model, had on display its Level 2 charging stations (charge spots).

Coulomb. Coulomb Technologies will expand the ChargePoint Network through partnership agreements with Leviton, Siemens and Aker Wade. Each of the Coulomb partners will market and distribute their own brand of home and/or public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) built specifically for the ChargePoint Network.

The ChargePoint Network is founded on an open interface, standards-based architecture providing station owners with a complete set of business applications, and providing drivers with EV charging apps.

Coulomb’s industry partners products include:

  • Leviton: Level I and II residential and public charging stations for the US and Canada EV market.
  • Siemens: Level I and II residential and public charging stations in the US, Canada and Europe.
  • Aker Wade: Level III networked fast charging stations for electric vehicles worldwide.


Eaton’s quick charger. Click to enlarge.

Eaton. Eaton Corporation displayed its electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and Eaton-branded Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle (iMiEV) car.

Eaton is introducing a full family of products for each of the three product market segments: Level 1 (120Vac), Level 2 (240Vac) and DC Quick Charge (480V).

Eaton’s quick charger can recharge the iMiEV to 80% of battery capacity in 25 minutes. Eaton will also provide service to these stations through its national network of satellite manufacturing facilities and engineering service organization.

Ecotality. ECOtality unveiled its flagship electric vehicle charging stations: Blink. The J1772-compliant Blink Level 2 charging stations will be available in two models: one, an in-home residential wall-mount unit and the second, a commercial stand-alone charger.

The unit boasts a bright, interactive, networked touch screen that will allow EV drivers to choose the most convenient time to charge and to program the device to charge when rates are lowest, saving consumers time and money.

ECOtality worked with global innovation firm frog design on the Blink family. Roush Manufacturing will manufacture the Blink home and commercial electric vehicle chargers.

Evatran Plugless Power. Evatran, a subsidiary of MTC Transformers, has developed a Level 2 (7.7 kW, 240V at 32A) inductive charging system that it plans to roll out on a commercial scale in 2011. The company recently received a $1.25-million grant from the Wythe County (Virginia) Joint Industrial Development Authority to conduct more research and testing on the system. Plug-ins such as the Volt and LEAF will be able to use the Evatran system with an adapter.

Equipped parking spaces include a Plugless Power parking block and a control console that interacts with and informs the user of the charging status. The parking block is installed on the ground at the front of the parking spot and self-aligns with the vehicle adapter. The control console can be purchased as a standalone tower or as a wall-mountable unit, and with backup J1772 plugs. Future control console models can include networking options and fee-based units.

The company says that it is in discussion with a number of vehicle OEMs.

Ingeteam. Spain-based Ingeteam develops devices for electrical quantity measurement and equipment for process automation and control of electrical machines. It manufactured its first EVSE systems earlier this year.

Leviton. Leviton Mfg. Co. Inc., the largest privately held global provider of electrical wiring devices, data connectivity solutions, and lighting energy management systems, has developed the evr-green Home Charging Station line.

Liberty PlugIns. Liberty PlugIns is providing Level 1, 2 and 3 charging stations integrated with metered parking. Liberty partners with various digital pay station manufacturers and gated parking system providers.

“Synchronous Codes” is Liberty PlugIns’ patent pending technology that allows parking pay stations to generate the authorization codes used to operate our EV charging stations. Each code is unique to that specific transaction and cannot be reused, protecting the lot owner and the consumer from potential fraud.

In a typical application, the customer pays for both parking and EV charging at the pay station, which then generates an authorization code that is printed on the customer’s receipt. The customer returns to his vehicle, enters the authorization code into the charger and plugs the charging connector into his vehicle’s power receptacle. If the cord is disconnected during the charging process the flow of electricity is interrupted until the cord is re-inserted and the code re-entered. The process is complete when either the car reaches maximum charge or the charge time has elapsed.

Schneider Electric. Schneider Electric’s EV charging solutions will include Square D smart charging stations and smart grid technology.

  • In residential settings, consumers will have access to Level I and II Square D charging stations. These stations, which meet all NEMA requirements, can be mounted to a garage wall or installed as an outdoor pedestal mount. Intelligent communication and smart grid integration capabilities will be offered in advanced versions.
  • In commercial settings, the Level II Square D charging stations will provide public and private-access charging. Schneider Electric will also offer a modular Level II charging solution for fleets—including federal government and private fleet locations that require multiple charging points and fleet management.
  • Level III Square D fast-charging stations will be introduced for customers needing a quick charge.

Schneider Electric will offer Infrastructure Management Solutions that provide advanced communication, connectivity and efficiency for their EV charging stations. Options will include monitoring, reporting and smart-grid capabilities, such as energy management, revenue management, energy usage reports, advanced alert notification and more.

Schneider Electric, through its own Services organization as well as its established channel partners and electrical contractors, will offer installation and maintenance services to help ensure reliable servicing of the charging stations and a positive customer experience.

Schneider Electric currently has pilots and partnerships underway in North America and Europe. Schneider Electric recently signed an agreement with urban mobility specialist Parkeon in June 2010 to provide local authority clients with a unique solution to manage urban parking facilities integrated with an electrical vehicle charging infrastructure.

Additionally, in April 2010, Schneider Electric announced that it will provide electric vehicle chargers for the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) trial in Strasbourg, France being conducted by EDF and Toyota. Schneider Electric’s 135 chargers are being installed in the partner company’s parking lots and at the homes of participating Strasbourg residents.

Square D by Schneider Electric charging stations and services will be available in the coming months in North America.